Queretaro, Mexico Governor to Speak at Arkansas State Fall Commencement
JONESBORO, Ark. — Governor Jose Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa of Queretaro, Mexico, is the 2013 Fall Commencement speaker for Arkansas State University, Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson announced today. The fall commencement ceremonies are Saturday, Dec. 14, at A-State’s Convocation Center.
The first foreign elected official to address Arkansas State’s graduates, Calzada leads one of Mexico’s most progressive states. Home to the nation’s high tech sector, Queretaro is among the top automotive, aviation and entrepreneurial centers in Mexico and ranks first in livability according to a recent quality of life study of all Mexican cities.
In early 2014, Arkansas State and private investors in Queretaro will break ground on the first U.S. university residential branch campus in Mexico.
“We are honored to host Gov. Calzada,” Hudson said. “His vision for uniting public and private sectors to elevate the entire population is a model for any nation. We know he will inspire our students.”
Elected governor of Queretaro in 2009, Calzada’s administration put a high priority on expanding higher education and research. Queretaro is one of the most attractive regions for international investment worldwide. Hundreds of prominent multinational corporations such as Bombadier, Eurocopter, New Holland, Unilever, Nestle and General Electric have headquarters or major operations in Queretaro. Under Calzada, the New York Times refers to Queretaro as “the other Mexico” for its economic growth, social stability and quality of life. His attendance at events like the Clinton Global Initiative (2012) has made Queretaro visible on the world stage.
“Gov. Calzada’s leadership in bringing together Arkansas State with private investors will change higher education in both countries,” Hudson said. “Arkansas State will fulfill its mission of preparing students to be global citizens. Residents of Queretaro will gain access to higher education options previously unavailable in Mexico. Together, we will work to create a sustainable democracy based on merit and top quality education for the youth of both nations.”
“We not only want to build, but also to create,” Calzada said in an interview with England’s WorldFolio. “It is the ideas and the creation of things that add great value. That is why we are investing so much in education. We are betting on the education of young people, soon to become engineers, who want to enter the world of science.”
“Arkansas State’s strength in STEM disciplines makes us a strong partner to bring American-style undergraduate and graduate education to Gov. Calzada’s plans for his state,” Hudson said. “At the same time, A-State’s reputation for work in the fine arts, humanities and heritage studies is a great fit with the cultural landscape of Queretaro.”
Contributing to its impressive economic development, Queretaro under Calzada experienced double-digit growth in tourism over the past three years. Considered among the top 100 cultural locations in the world by National Geographic, the natural beauty of the region combines pre-Columbian relics with ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries. Queretaro City’s historic monuments zone is on the United Nation’s World Heritage Center List.
Prior to commencement, Calzada will meet with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and state economic development leaders in central Arkansas en route to Jonesboro.
A graduate of Universidad Nuevo Mundo in administration, he earned his MBA at New Mexico State University. A third-generation leader in Queretaro, Calzada’s public service career includes several appointments within the Mexican national government, three years as a senator representing Queretaro and a posting as a counselor at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.
Calzada and his wife, Sandra, have three children, Jose, Diego and Sandra; and he recently ran in the New York City Marathon.